@Nats Fan: Didn't say they're a Fielder away from the WS. I said multi-year contender and potential division/league dominance. My delusion is not nearly as great as your lack of reading comprehension.
That was me.
@joemktg If you think the Nats are ONE player away from the world series, you're delusional. Their 2011 offense was FIVE or SIX players short of being playoff class. The good news is that it's plausible most of that improvement should come from within, with continued improvement by Desmond, Espinosa, Ramos, and Flores, a rebound by Werth, and the development of Harper.
So they COULD be only a couple of players away, but not by this April, and even if they are in the running in September, they'll be shutting down Strasburg by then as this is his recovery year. Plus even if they sign Fielder, they'll still need a center fielder and a leadoff hitter and a better bench (yes they got DeRosa, but they lost more in Hairston and Nix). It would also kill any value they could have gotten for LaRoche at the trade deadline, because he'll have had no playing time. And look at the 2013 free agent class. It's a cornucopia of potential better fit players for which Rizzo and the Lerners should be willing to break the bank.
Don't get me wrong. Fielder would be a terrific and much-needed boost for the offense, but he's not necessarily a good long-term fit for this team. Add that to the huge risk of a signing a long-term contract with a 275-pound National League first baseman, and this is not so cut-and-dried. If he'll take a contract that the Nats could get out of in 4 years, then they should jump at the opportunity, even if it's $25M/yr. But this is not a "give him whatever he's asking for" situation.
Why don't you ask who Nats fans want on 3b in 2014? Because if they give $200 mil to Fielder now, it's goodbye to Zimmerman. And by that time Fielder will be too out of shape to play First base.
The club is so close to becoming a multi-year contender with Fielder. It'd be borderline insane not to take advantage of this opportunity and give yourself a chance to seriously content. After all, how often is a club in this position, i.e., one dominant player away from potential division/league dominance? With that young, powerful pitching staff, you've got to go for it.
Who is that one asshole voting for Adam LaRoche?!